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First 14er Mt. Blanca in July 2012, any advice?

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: First 14er Mt. Blanca in July 2012, any advice?

Postby rijaca » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:24 am

jlhiking wrote:Thanks for the replies. We are hopefully goind during the week to avoid crowds the 2nd week in July. I would really like to go the Zapata Lake approach and would like to know more if anyone know of any good links or TRs beside the most recent from user geojed. I am a little considered about taking a more difficult path after the trail ends and not knowing were to go. There will be four of us going all in decent shape, Colorado natives. It would be nice to do two 14ers as a first 14er trip (Blanca and Ellingwood). Again, what class would you say this is. I really don't want to do anything harder than a class 2 right now.



Unless you're comfortable with your route finding skills on class 2/3 terrain without trails, I'd stick to the standard route.
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Re: First 14er Mt. Blanca in July 2012, any advice?

Postby painless4u2 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:40 pm

Besides geojed, you might want to look at my TR up Ellingwood Point from S. Zapata (http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8955&parmuser=painless4u2&cpgm=tripuser) to show route descriptions.

If you're looking for strictly Class 2, you might want to look elsewhere, as this hike has a few Class 3 moves, but nothing really hard. There is a bit of exposure toward the summit over pretty solid rock, so if that is a concern this one is probably not for you. Route finding is pretty straightforward once you begin the climb up the C2 gully. You will most likely want to skirt the cliffy stuff toward the last bit and descend slightly to your right along obvious ledges, then regain the ridge and doubling back to the summit. It's a great climb, but you may still want to look at others for a real Class 2 hike.
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Re: First 14er Mt. Blanca in July 2012, any advice?

Postby jlhiking » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:46 pm

painless4u2 wrote:Besides geojed, you might want to look at my TR up Ellingwood Point from S. Zapata (http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=8955&parmuser=painless4u2&cpgm=tripuser) to show route descriptions.

If you're looking for strictly Class 2, you might want to look elsewhere, as this hike has a few Class 3 moves, but nothing really hard. There is a bit of exposure toward the summit over pretty solid rock, so if that is a concern this one is probably not for you. Route finding is pretty straightforward once you begin the climb up the C2 gully. You will most likely want to skirt the cliffy stuff toward the last bit and descend slightly to your right along obvious ledges, then regain the ridge and doubling back to the summit. It's a great climb, but you may still want to look at others for a real Class 2 hike.



Thank you painless4u2! I think one day I might try this route as it look amazing. For the first trip I think we will stick to the lake como approach as I just want to be able to "make it".

Thanks again everyone for our posts. Can't wait for my first 14er up Blanca!

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Re: First 14er Mt. Blanca in July 2012, any advice?

Postby wildlobo71 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:50 pm

Quick blister aid - wrap about 20' of duct tape on your poles, or something you will take with you - I've used simple duct tape for years and it works to block the wear on the heels... With better boots, I've removed the problem, but I still wrap duct tape around my poles and ice axe handle for emergency use.

I wouldn't replace duct tape with any of the aforementioned protections and remedies... I just seem to like the tape.
Bill W.
Yes, I have my Scotch.

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Re: First 14er Mt. Blanca in July 2012, any advice?

Postby DeTour » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:09 pm

jlhiking wrote:For the first trip I think we will stick to the lake como approach as I just want to be able to "make it".

Sounds like a good move. You didn't really say what your experience is, other than you've hiked some and had an eye on this goal for a while, which constitutes a good start. Have you been above 12,000 feet? Even for an experienced hiker, things are different at altitude. Sticking to a relatively established trail (Blanca from Lake Como) is probably a real good idea unless you have experience routefinding above tree line.

On the blisters, it probably goes without saying, but just in case, since nobody else has said it, moleskin is an essential. By all means practice prevention - some really good tips here - but if you do suffer one or more, moleskin can be the difference between misery and enjoyment of the hike. As with altitude, the extended period on an incline, especially down, can produce problems even an experienced hiker may not be used to.

Stay safe, have fun, and congratulations on going after your goal.
when you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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